Vol 5 No. 33 - May 4, 2005
Breckenridge the Anna Maria of the Rockies
By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER
I just returned from the Anna Maria of the Rockies
Breckenridge, Colorado. At first blush, Breckenridge and
Anna Maria may not appear to have much in common, but theres
all kinds of similarities, not the least of which is their respective
real estate markets.
The first thing I do when landing in a new town is head straight
for the nearest real estate office and gather books and advertising
for local real estate. Arriving in Breckenridge slowed my real estate
sprint a little (a better than 9,000 foot altitude level forces
you to walk a little slower), but I still managed to stock up for
the afternoon read.
For starters Breckenridge real estate is just about as out of control
as Manatee County (based on a recent Bradenton Herald report, Manatee
and Sarasota County real estate has appreciated 36 percent during
the past year). Residential property in Breckenridge, for a one-bedroom
condo starts around $250,000 and escalates up into the multi-millions
for single-family homes. Check out this piece from a local Breckenridge
"Second home ownership is booming as our communities move from
"ski towns" to "resort communities." In the
past, skiers came to ski and when the end of the season arrived,
our communities became close to ghost towns. Now our second homeowners
are spending more time, enjoying four seasons of activities, and
many are anticipating spending their retirement here as full time
residents. When one looks at all of the residential real estate
owned in the county, 67 percent of those properties are owned by
second homeowners. It is projected that the county will be built
out in the next 10-12 years."
All you need to do is change "ski" to "beach"
and this article could have been written about Anna Maria. Its
also not uncommon for the same type of people to gravitate to the
same area of the country. Walking down Main Street in Breckenridge
one afternoon, my cousin ran into a colleague of his from Clearwater.
How many times has that happened to you on the Island?
Its true that real estate is booming all over the country,
but as unique as the Western states are, its the Southern
part of the country that is really booming. A report I heard on
television last week stated that in twenty years, Florida will be
the third most populated state in the country after California and
Texas. If you believe this, then maintaining a 36 percent appreciation
rate should certainly be sustainable. Add the finite amount of available
waterfront real estate available, and appreciation rates start getting
into thin air territory that will really leave you breathless.
The next time youre in the land of switchbacks, chinking and
four feet of snow in April, take a good look around, you may be
surprised at how similar we really are. And, if want to know what
chinking is this would be a good time to remember why the Internet
was invented although were still not sure by whom.
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